Some days you need cinnamon rolls. Lots of them. Slathered in icing.
Sometimes I crave things I ate as a kid or, more likely, as a poor college student. Occasionally I give in and allow myself to partake in these things. Most of the time the actuality and the memory do not resemble one another. At least on the pre-packaged front.
Like recently when I just had to have macaroni and cheese. From a blue box. And it was less than delicious. Much less. Or the coconut cake from the freezer section that, although still pretty good, was not as I remembered it being. Which was heavenly. I remember it being heavenly. Hmmm. . .good but not heaven.
Here’s the thing. I’m a snob. A food snob. I know it and I can live with it. I can’t be bothered with most pre-made packaged food. It’s not special enough. I know I can make yummy mac n cheese without the use of a packet of orange powdered “cheese”. I know I can make cinnamon rolls that will make your mouths water. And I know that if I get back to Key Largo anytime soon I will be having the homemade coconut cake with warm rum sauce at The Buzzard’s Roost. (It spoiled me for other coconut cakes.)
I also have a leg up on some people because I enjoy cooking and baking. It’s therapeutic (most of the time). It’s fun for me. It’s a creative outlet. I enjoy sharing treats with family and friends. And I prefer to eat healthier, home cooked, vegetable heavy meals.
Of course, like everyone else, there are nights I just want to be fed cheap, greasy, fried chicken like I was tonight. Thank you, Tim. 🙂
And even though I am generally disillusioned with my brief dips into the packaged food realm, I will still occasionally remember something I ate years and years ago and decide I must have it. Sometimes it will be nostalgic and delicious. Most of the time it won’t.
It will, often times, prompt me to get in the kitchen and recreate things the way I think they should be. And so it went with the cinnamon rolls. And they were a huge yummy hit! Be aware they take time. Time to mix up and knead and lots of time to rise and rise again. In the end they are totally worth the work. Especially if you are as snobby as I am.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup milk (I used almond)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups flour
Warm the milk slightly in a 2 cup measuring cup in the microwave. It should only be about 100 degrees. Warm. Add the yeast and let set for 5 minutes or until frothy. Whisk in the sugar, melted butter, vanilla & egg yolk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, nutmeg & salt. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and mix on low with a bread hook until thick and sticky. Turn up to medium and knead for about 6 minutes. Place dough in a large buttered bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a draft free spot for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
While the dough rises make the filling.
4 cups diced apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsps Cinnamon
pinch of salt
8 Tbsps butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
While the dough rises, place the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until the sugar melts and the apples begin to soften. Set aside to cool.
After the dough rises, pour it on to a liberally floured surface and roll into a large rectangle (about 12×14 inches). Spread the softened butter onto the dough and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Evenly spread the cooled apple mixture on top and roll the dough up around it. Cut the dough log into 8 even sections.
Place the 8 pieces, cut side down, into a greased 9×13 pan in 2 rows of 4 with room between each. Cover with plastic and allow to rise 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake the rolls about 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool about 30 minutes. Make the frosting while the rolls cool.
4 Tbsps butter, room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup half & half (or milk)
In a mixing bowl, mix the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and begin to mix in. Add the half & half slowly until the frosting comes together and is creamy.
Spread the frosting on top of the partially cooled rolls. Delicious served warm. These will be making an appearance at our Easter celebration!